By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE Dozens of Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) athletes were lauded for their 2008-2009 accomplishments at the annual SCCC Athletic Banquet on Monday evening at Nina’s Ristoranté in Loch Sheldrake.
SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew welcomed athletes, coaches, SCCC staff members and administrators and special guests to the event.
“Once again it has been an exceptional year for Sullivan athletics,” DePew said. “As I complete my eighth year as athletic director here at Sullivan, I am very proud of all of the athletes here tonight and the great deal of notoriety they have brought to our campus.
“It’s an exciting time for Sullivan athletics and I am proud to be the leader of this department,” he added.
Two members of the SCCC administration, Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ellen Galligan and Dean of Students Joe Isadore, offered some remarks.
“All of you here tonight have done a wonderful job,” Galligan said. “You have mastered time management skills. Many of you have full-time or part-time jobs, but you still were able to get to your practices and games and classes.”
“You all have helped make my first year here very exciting,” Isadore said. “I want to congratulate you on the outstanding job you have all done.”
Each of the SCCC coaches then invited the members of their respective teams up to the podium for some special awards and recognition.
Coach Zach Mathew of the cross country team noted that last fall was his first time coaching the sport.
“We had a very exciting season,” he said.
Mathew noted that one of the season’s highlights was having two runners, Corey Ramos and Jonathan Rice, qualify for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III national championship meet. Ramos and Rice combined to finish 18th at the meet.
On behalf of himself and Assistant Coach Robert Harris, Mathew presented the Coach’s Award to Melissa Bachmann, the Most Improved Athlete Award to Natasha Romane and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award to Jonathan Rice.
Members of the cross country team included: Melissa Bachmann, Christopher Diaz, Gladys Honoret, Patrick Hunter, Nicole Mercer, Cory Ramos, Jonathan Rice, Natasha Roman, Craig Terry and Aryana Walizadeh.
Coach Gregg Semenetz was also in his first year of guiding the men’s golf team. He presented the Most Improved Award to Kyle Humphrey.
“When Kyle played Tarry Brae Golf Course, he had the biggest improvement I have ever seen on the course and I have been playing golf for 20 years,” Semenetz said. “He took 30 strokes off his score from his previous match.”
Cheerleading Coach Janna Worden explained that she came to SCCC after spending 11 years coaching cheerleading at Tri-Valley Central School, which is her alma mater, the school district where she taught and the district where her children attend school. She thanked DePew and everyone at the college for welcoming her and making her first season on the SCCC coaching staff a very good one.
“I am happy that I was able to work with guys and girls from all different backgrounds,” Worden said. “My expectation was for this group of cheerleaders to be ladies and gentlemen first and athletes second. And they did that.”
Worden then announced the team’s special award winners. Meghan Behn was named Most Improved, Venessa Harty earned the Sportsmanship Award and Ashlei Doughty and Zenia Franklin were both selected as the MVP.
Members of the cheerleading team included: Meghan Behn, Candice Charles, Amanda Colon, Martha Donis, Ashlei Doughty, Zenia Franklin, Venessa Harty, Sylvia Kissi, Adriana Linares, Nicole Paul, Ivy Postell, Jasmin Rivera, Estefania Soto, Josh Smith and Christopher Torres.
Coach Zach Mathew noted that the outdoor track and field team had “a great season.
“We got to compete at meets at universities like Wagner and Yale,” he said.
Mathew presented the Most Improved Award to Tevin Bowman, the Coaches Award to Jonathan Rice and the MVP to Cory Ramos.
Members of the outdoor track and field team included: Tevin Bowman, Miguel Montaz, William Quinones, Cory Ramos, Jonathan Rice and Jabari Skeene.
Coach Sara Thompson-Tweedy noted that her women’s basketball team did not win as many games as they would have hoped to this season, but still accomplished a great deal.
“For the first time in three years, a Lady Generals basketball team finished the entire season,” she said. “No matter how bad we were losing a game, you kept going. The things you learned this year will help you later in life. In the future when the Lady Generals are hanging championship banners in the fieldhouse, you will have a special place in the history of the program because your shoulders are the foundation for those championships.”
Thompson-Tweedy thanked Assistant Coach Carl Graham, Assistant Coach Diana Traugot and AD Chris DePew for all of their help this past season.
Thompson-Tweedy then presented the Coaches Award to Angelina Garofalo and Maggie Sauchuk, the Most Improved Award to Catherine Santoro and the MVP to Roxann Rutherford.
Members of the women’s basketball team included: Victoria Carter (manager), Devine Charles (manager), Elisa Cavaliere, Jessica Diaz, Angelina Garofalo, Nicole Mercer, Roxann Rutherford, Catherine Santoro, Maggie Sauchuk and Shan’Que Washington.
Before he presented some awards to members of the men’s basketball team, Assistant Coach Gregg Semenetz spoke about the Generals’ season.
“These guys did a great job and we had a great season,” Semenetz said. “The word to describe this team is ‘family.’ These guys stuck together no matter what.”
Semenetz noted that the Generals had a season “which can be described as a roller coaster ride” as the team won 11 of its first 12 games before losing six of its last seven regular season games.
The Generals rebounded to finish second in the Mid-Hudson Conference (MHC) Tournament. The team’s season ended with a heartbreaking loss in the championship game of the Region XV Tournament.
“After that game in the locker room, we remained a team there was no one accusing each other or blaming each other for the loss,” Semenetz said.
Semenetz presented the Coaches Award to Muhammed Issaka, the Most Improved Award to Michael McNair and the MVP to Timothy McKnight.
Members of the men’s basketball team included: Tymel Ambrose, Moses Dayee, Derrick Fernandez, John Foster, Kyle Humphrey, Muhammed Issaka, Andre Martin, Timothy McKnight, Michael McNair, Tyrone Mitchell, Tyquan Moore, Marvin Ramirez, Derek Rice (manager), Lindsay Robinson, Rafael Segura (manager) and William Vaughn.
Coach Scott Cassidy noted that the baseball team had a very interesting season. The Generals upset Ulster Community College late in the regular season to finish fourth in the MHC standings.
The Generals fell to Rockland Community College, 8-7, in the first round of the Region XV Tournament.
“We were trailing 7-0 in the third inning,” Cassidy said. “Some teams would have folded at that point and given up for the rest of the game. But not this team. These guys played with a lot of heart and they came back to tie the score.
“I was very proud of these guys for the way they responded,” he continued. “I was as proud of them as I was of anything I did in my baseball career.”
Cassidy, who also praised Assistant Coach Adam Lake for all of his hard work this season, presented the Coaches Award to Daniel Mercedes, the Most Improved Award to Cesar De La Cruz and the MVP to Fred Moore.
Members of the baseball team included: Brian Aponte, Joel Cabrera, Cesar De La Cruz, Juan Delacruz, William Elberth, Carlos Gerda, Christopher Gonzalez, Noel Guaba, Miguel Lopez, Curtis Lopez, Bienvenido Martinez, Daniel Mercedes, Justen Mills, Fred Moore, Jose Pena, David Pimentel, Anthony Rodriguez, Jose Rojas, Lenin Sepulveda, Melvin Simmons, William Soto, Dauris Tavarez, Raynierick Valdez and Bryan White.
DePew presented some special awards to athletes from all of the teams.
MHC Academic All-Conference: Brian Aponte, Melissa Bachmann, Elisa Cavaliere, Jessica Diaz, Angelina Garofalo, Kyle Humphrey, Muhammed Issaka, Daniel Mercedes, Justen Mills, Cory Ramos, Catherine Santoro, Maggie Sauchuk, Dauris Tavarez and Aryana Walizadeh.
Region XV Academic All-Region: Brian Aponte, Melissa Bachmann, Kyle Humphrey, Muhammed Issaka, Daniel Mercedes, Catherine Santoro, Maggie Sauchuk, Dauris Tavarez and Aryana Walizadeh.
2008 Men’s Cross Country National Championship Participation Certificate: Christopher Diaz, Patrick Hunter, Cory Ramos, Jonathan Rice, Craig Terry, Coach Zach Mathew and Assistant Coach Robert Harris.
Region XV All-Region Men’s Basketball: First Team Timothy McKnight, Third Team Tymel Ambrose, Honorable Mention Moses Dayee.
MHC 2009 All Conference Men’s Basketball: First Team Tymel Ambrose, Moses Dayee and Timothy McKnight.
MHC 2009 All Conference Women’s Basketball: Second Team Roxanne Rutherford
2009 Region XV, Division III All Region Baseball Team: First Team Fred Moore, Second Team Cesar De La Cruz and Justen Mills.
MHC 2009 All Conference Team Baseball: First Team Fred Moore, Second Team Cesar De La Cruz and Justen Mills.
Kyle Humphrey was named the Mid-Hudson Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year and received the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award.
At the end of the evening, the two nominees for the SCCC Athlete of the Year Award, Timothy McKnight and Fred Moore, were introduced by their respective coaches, Semenetz and Cassidy.
DePew then announced that the McKnight and Moore were the 2009 SCCC Co-Athletes of the Year. DePew presented each young man with a nice plaque.
In addition, Sullivan County Legislady Leni Binder presented Sullivan County Legislature Certificates of Special Recognition to McKnight and Moore.